by Kelly Vance
This week, "Grading Jerry": The Jerry Brown years. As mayor, he didn't do much for Oakland's public school students not going to one of his pet charter schools. He slowed Oakland's homicide rate, at least for a while, but was unable to solve the root problem of poverty. Net effect on the arts-entertainment-restaurant scene: pretty positive, if by positive you mean artsville gentrification by SF hipsters fleeing the city. Missed his touted 10K housing goals. Generally behaved like a colonialist squire toward the Bay Area's most unloved city, wooing real estate developers like they were an endangered species and dooming the "downtown ballpark" plan, but in the end, damn it, his approach worked. As Chris Thompson points out, Oakland is no longer shorthand for urban despair. And he didn't leave town after his term was over. Yet.